May Mobility - one week down!  We have tested our mobility and have a starting level to work on (if you missed out on that, you should get it done this wee!).

Mobility has become a buzz word in CrossFit ever since Kelly Starrett first came into our lives way back in the mid noughties.  We all know about using bands, wriggling around on lacrosse balls or rollers and doing static stretching.  This proactive work is great but we can make our mobility do so much more for us, if we ensure we do the right kind of mobility at the right time.

When we workout, the best mobility to do beforehand should be relevant to the major movements being trained that day, and they should be dynamic so that are warming up and preparing for the workout.  So for example, when we do shoulder work we may run through the push/pull series, when we squat we'll do a squat flow, before Oly lifting we might do lunge or thoracic flow plus some barbell technique work.  This gets our joints moving in a way that is relevant to our movement, gets our joint synovial fluid (WD40) flowing and activates our stabilising musculature so that when our joints are at the end of range they are fully supported.  If we were to stretch our muscles cold or do our lacrosse ball wriggling before a workout, we might increase our range,  BUT we do nothing to activate our stabilising muscles or lubricate our joints, which decreases potential performance and may make us susceptible to injury.

The time for the 'lazy mobility' that is static stretching, foam rolling and LAX ball massage, comes after class, or at the end of the day (in front of TV or reading).  Muscles are warmer and more pliable.  It also has the effect of turning on the part of the nervous system that relaxes us and brings us back down from the stressful stimuli that intense exercise causes.

As we move through May we will be regularly repeating mobility drills and emphasising when to do them to get the most benefit.  The idea is that you can build an armoury of drills that you can apply daily to your routine both pre and post exercise.

Some key points to remember 

1. Pre Exercise:  Warm up with movements and stability drills relevant to workout. (if you arrive at least 10mins before class to get warm, hit Crossover Symmetry and move around a bit, the class warmup will take care of the rest)

2. Post Exercise:  Lazy Mobility!  Lacrosse Ball, Foam Roller static stretching (ROMWOD, yin yoga etc).  You should be able to hold a conversation, don't be too vicious on yourself.

3. Consistency is the key!  5-10 minutes daily is more effective than 1 hour weekly.

Stay tuned next week to see how we can use something as simple as good posture to improve our lifting!  How exciting!!

Darren Ellis